30 Sep What’s Getting a Better Workout?
Are you working out your thumbs or working out your thoughts?
I heard this phrase recently, and I loved it concerning leadership. It’s so easy for us to work out our thumbs daily. Who are we texting? What social media are we scrolling through? What news sites are we getting on? What are we watching on YouTube?
We’re so busy, and the busier we are, the more we seem to pack into our schedule and the less time we have to work out our thoughts.
If we’re constantly distracting ourselves with our phones or those “urgent things” on our plates, we’re not giving ourselves the space to think, strategize, or create.
As leaders, one of the most important things we do is motivate, inspire, and set the direction. We have to have the bigger ideas and then empower our teams to execute those ideas. However, the only way we can do that is if we create the space in our schedule to work out our thoughts.
Make The Time To Work Out Your Thoughts
My schedule over the last couple of months has been crazier than it’s ever been, in a good way. A friend recently said to me, “Man, you’re always on the go. You’re in Florida, Georgia, then Illinois, and Texas. Aren’t you tired?”
I laughed and told him that I am a little tired, but this is what I prayed for. This is what I’ve worked for, and I love this. But I’ve also found that during this new season, there’s been less time for me to sit, think, and create. I’m finding fewer gaps in my schedule, and my thoughts aren’t getting the workout as much as my thumbs are.
So I started setting aside an hour block, the first thing on Saturday morning, while everybody in my house is still asleep, for “thought time.” I also commit the first hour of every flight I take to “thought time.”
I turn some music on in my office or my headphones and take out a pen and paper. Then I jot down some notes, thoughts, and ideas that I can come back to later.
I work out my thoughts first instead of scrolling social media, checking last night’s scores, or reading the Wall Street Journal on my phone.
Instead of working my thumbs, I step back and ask:
- What’s going on in my head?
- How am I working out my thoughts?
- How can I inspire others?
- What podcast episodes do people want to hear?
As a leader, you need to create space in your calendar, regardless of how busy it is, to work out your thoughts. Think through how you can coach up and inspire your employees or ideas that you haven’t tried in your company yet.
Be Intentional with Your Time
Yes, there’s a time and place to respond to text messages and emails, and even look at the news or social media. However, we’ve got to be intentional with that window. Make a plan for when you’re getting on social media and when you’re getting off of it.
If we constantly keep our brains busy with distractions, we won’t have time to build and grow them, and in turn, grow our teams. Most people constantly consume information through their phones. They avoid any moment where they could be bored or idle and fill those times by working out their thumbs.
Leaders understand the importance of creating time to work out their thoughts. It’s through these thoughts we think of big ideas we can act on. It’s through these thoughts that we better understand ourselves.
So tomorrow, the first thing I want you to do in the morning is to think about your intention for the day. Figure out the three most important things you want to get done. That’s working out your thoughts.
Don’t just work out your thumbs, that’s what everybody does. But everybody’s not leading or reaching their goals. Everybody’s not striving for greatness, but you are.
To get different results than everybody else, you have to do things differently than everybody else.
Instead of working out your thumbs, make time to work out your thoughts.
Go win your day, Competitor.